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Q: Why does a big fire truck go to emergency calls when no fire is reported. Shouldn't the emergency squad in an ambulance be able to take care of the situation?

A: "We are an all-hazard response operation," said Payson Fire Chief John Ross. "We have all of our equipment available for all types of emergencies strategically located in both North and South Payson. A lot of times what is reported is not what we get when we arrive at the scene, so we have people trained to handle all types of emergencies. Then if transportation is needed an ambulance is asked to respond."

Ross said a lot of times when his units are on the scene of one emergency they are asked to respond directly to another one. "This way we don't have to go back to the station, so our response time is much lower," he said.

Q: Now that the census figures are out, what do they show for the town of Payson?

A: The Roundup featured Payson census highlights in a front page story on June 1. For those who missed it or are new to the area, 2000 census figures showed that Payson's population increased by 62.6 percent to 13,620, the average age of Payson's residents dropped from 49.7 to 48.9 years of age, and the average Payson household had 2.3 residents versus 2.23 in 1990. Payson Community Development Director Bob Gould told the Roundup there were only three stats that really surprised him:

A dramatic drop in the number of homes occupied by part-time residents from 23.3 percent in 1990 to 17.1 percent in 2000.

An increase of nearly 15 percent in the number of people living in group homes like Manzanita Manor and Powell House from 157 people in 1990 to 232 in 2000.

A decline in the number of Payson residents over 55 and 65. Residents over 55 declined from 45 percent in the 1995 mid-decade census to 42.4 percent in the 2000 census. Over-65s declined from 31 percent to 29.2 percent.

Call 474-5251, ext. 147, to reach Roundup's What's Up? line. Leave your question on the answering machine and we'll try to find the answer.

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